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1898 Waxhaw cotton mill being converted to apartments, restaurant space

27 February 2017

By Ken Elkins, Charlotte Business Journal

A Charlotte developer is breathing life back into a 119-year-old cotton mill with an apartment and commercial development in downtown Waxhaw.

The Mill on Main project will combine 63 apartments with 10,000 square feet of restaurant and commercial on N.C. Highway 75 near town center.

Developer Brian Cillian, partner at DHD Ventures, says he has a lease for a 6,500-square-foot, Neapolitan-themed restaurant that will offer craft beer. But the restaurant doesn’t yet have a name.

Cillian says the project will bring some much-needed apartments to the Union County town.

“There haven’t been any built in Waxhaw in 10 years,” he says. “There’s a pent-up demand.”

Sara Teller, general manager of the Mill on Main, says she got a sampling of that demand when leasing started recently.

“We were about 10% leased the first week we started leasing,” Teller says.

Cillian also hopes the project will attract employees from Red Ventures and Movement Mortgage in nearby Indian Land.

The one- and two-bedroom apartments, which will range in rent from $1,105 to $1,685 a month, will be in both of the main buildings on the 7-acre site. Those in the mill section of the development will have exposed brick, mill flooring and wood ceilings of the 80,000-square-foot old cotton mill. Those are arranged for two-level apartments.

Next door in the ironworks section, garden apartments will be arranged in the 1960s addition to the mill.

Plans call for a grand opening of the $12.5 million project on Waxhaw’s East Main Street beginning in July, with the restaurant opening in mid-June.

“Everything will be op and running by the Fourth of July weekend,” Cillian says.

The courtyard area will contain a pool, a dog park, an outdoor kitchen or two and other amenities. Overhead, a steel roof will give the area an industrial feel, Cillian says.

Cillian says the town of Waxhaw will link the project with sidewalks and the pedestrian bridge over the downtown railroad tracks are within sight of the Mill on Main.

Teller says the CSX Corp. rail line helps to identify the Union County town.

“The train is a big part of Waxhaw,” she says.

She adds that the project is aimed at young people and others who want to live in a historic project.

“It’s cute, quaint and vibrant,” she says, describing the end product of the renovation work. Teller and King Realty Advisors of Monroe are handling the marketing and leasing for the Waxhaw project.

The project reuses the buildings of the former Rodman-Heath Cotton Mill in Waxhaw. Cillian was looking for DHD’s next project when he found the mill complex, which Waxhaw has studied for years, looking for a way to reuse the historic structure.

“You can’t recreate something like this with the history and character of the space,” he says.


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